‘Counting On’ Stars Jill & Derick Dillard Say They’re Done With Central America Ministry

Raise your hand if you’re tired of dodging jaguars and kidnappers on the regular…

Jill and Derick Dillard have spent the last two years shuttling back and forth between the Duggar Family Compound in Arkansas and the jungles of El Salvador, where they were doing mission work. On Wednesday the Counting On stars took to their family blog to declare that, due to “a number of circumstances,” they are staying put in the good ol’ US of A!

“Through a number of circumstances, and guided by much prayer and counsel, we are discerning the Lord leading our family’s full-time ministry back to the United States for the time being,” Jill and Derick wrote on their blog.

Derick and Jill first left for Central America in 2015, heading down to a dangerous part of El Salvador with their toddler son, Israel, in tow. The ‘Counting On’ stars got plenty of criticism for bringing their young son into an area where kidnappings and murders are frequent. (In fact, one of the Dillards’ missionary friends was recently murdered down there.)

In February, Jill and her family returned to El Salvador even though she was pregnant, which was a decision that many fans questioned. The Dillards came back to the United States for the July birth of their second son Samuel,

Jill and Derick also took heat for collecting money from fans for their “Dillard Family Ministries” charity. Many fans who donated were upset when they realized their money was funding things like Derick and Jill being able to travel back to the United States to attend family events.

In their blog, Derick and Jill praised themselves for all the good work they did down in Central America.

“It has been a joy and blessing to see how our Lord has worked in Central America, and your generous giving has been a huge part of making that possible!” they wrote. “We have witnessed God transforming the lives of many involved in the gang community and positively influencing the lives of young people for the sake of the Kingdom. Through numerous efforts of community development, skills training, sports outreach, and local church ministry, a strong foundation has been laid that I believe the Lord will continue to grow for many years to come.”

“Does that mean I won’t have to bathe in a horse trough of cold water anymore?!”

The Dillards did not go into specifics about what “circumstances” have caused them to need to stay in the United States. However, fans became concerned about Jill’s health last month, following the traumatic birth of Samuel, and many are suspecting that she may have suffered undisclosed health issues after the birth.

Anyway, Jill and Derick have not indicated if they will return the money that fans donated to their ministry charity. They did, however, state that they plan to continue ministering in their home state.

“At this time, God has seen fit for our family to continue serving him in ministry within the context of Northwest Arkansas,” the Dillards wrote on their blog.

They, along with the rest of the Duggar clan, will be back on TLC in September when new episodes of ‘Counting On’ begin airing. To read our ‘Counting On’ recaps, click here!

(Photos: TLC)



  1. You mean they aren’t vacationing on the dime of people who believed they were funding an actual charity anymore?

  2. I really and truly resent the way they are playing up the “dangerous jungles of El Salvador” I am salvadorean. This enrages me soooo much. Stop it. And now playing up the murder of one their “friends” which turned out to be someone they met at best a few times. No. Stop. The idea that you will give us poor uncivilized heathens your American food and clothes if we take in your form on Christianity its nothing short of amoral. If you wanted to help you help. Most Salvadorans are Christian in that they are Catholics anyway the idea that their God is better is like someone else said up thread basically a cult. And anyway people can be good and happy without “religions” how about be a good person to others and live your life by that?

  3. Time for real jobs kiddos! I’m sure they have one of daddy’s big houses to move into. These people don’t have a clue but honestly, can you blame them with how (and who) raised them?!

  4. I just cannot wrap my brain around people that are worried about the private lives of others. I honestly don’t care what anyone believes. You have to be a special kind of conceited and sanctimonious to decide that not only is your belief system is better than everyone else’s, but you’re the only ones going to heaven so you’d better hurry and push it on everyone else. Not because you actually want to “save” them, but so you get even more bonus points to get into heaven. It’s a shame I don’t believe in hell, because I’d sure love to see their faces when they end up there.

    1. The whole point of their brand of Christian fundamentalism is to “spread the word of god”. That’s why they have so many kids (quiverfulls), to build an army of soldiers of god to fight the enemy. The more believers they create, the more people they have to put in positions of power, so they can take over. This is literally their mission in life.

  5. Ministry mission work is such bullshit. Giving poor areas food and education only if they agree to convert to what can only be described as a cult.

  6. I’m so glad these kids brought Christianity to one of the most Caltholic places in the world! It was like that time I talked about the virtues of sculpture at my local painting class, I really saved a lot of heathen painters. I feel like I deserve self-congratulation and donations from random people as well.


  7. Lol, “if they will return the money.”
    You crack me up, Ashley.

    These people, and their extended family of grifters, do more to harm Christianity than atheists. I can only imagine the shocked surprise that awaits them on the Last Day when they are judged.

        1. Oh look, a Christian who stands in judgment of perfect strangers for living their lives. I am SHOCKED. No one does more harm to Christianity than Christians.

          1. I know I am not a shining example of Christianity nor do I pimp out my family on a show to say we are. I believe I will be judged and harshly.
            I come to this site like most people to be snarky and sarcastic in my utter incredulity of the way these people act.
            Whatever your belief system is, I am glad it works for you.

          2. I was actually referring to you likening Atheists to Satanists. That has nothing to do with the Duggars (who we all snark about).

        2. If by “harm”, you mean more people are realizing they can live a meaningful, moral life without the threat of eternity in hell, then I think that’s good for everyone. Treat others with kindness and live your life without causing harm to others, and do it because it’s what is right, not because you’re trying to please an imaginary man who will punish you if you don’t. This life is not a dress rehearsal for a perceived afterlife.

  8. Maybe someone turned them over to CPS for putting their kid in danger. They have stated they are aware of how dangerous it is there but yet have no issue placing the baby in the middle of it. But it’s in God’s plan, ya’ll! Gotta save them heathens!

  9. At least something smart this guy came up with if he spews hate all over on social media. They didn’t help anyone while they were there anyway.

  10. Now they can unproductive leeches in America instead! Part of me is relieved because I was worried for the kids and their health; Derrick and Jill possess no common sense. Maybe he’ll cut his hair and get a real job again.

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